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Old 07-26-2014, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,045 posts, read 5,966,482 times
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A minimalist lifestyle can be problematic, especially in the Midwest.

One quick specific example: it only takes one bad storm to shut down roads in the winter. I try to maintain at least a month's worth of the supplies I need to make a household function, from food to toilet paper, to fuel for the camping stove in case the power goes out. That is reasonable and prudent.

The important part is finding a balance between too much and not enough, and that will vary from family to family.

 
Old 07-26-2014, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,501,647 times
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Here's a test I used with my mother. I did this with her BEFORE I packed her voluminous "stuff," but since you already packed, do it when you unpack.

Anything you have more than one of, gather like with like before you put it away. For my mother, her most outrageous overages were things like teapots, vases, cups and saucers, books she already read, jewelry, blankets, sweaters, etc., etc. She didn't think she had too much of anything. But when she could see that she had 17 bud vases (not the big vases, just the bud vases) placed together on a table, she could understand that was excessive. She could see that maybe three or four would be the most one human could need. She actually had no idea she had that many because they were all over the house.

She didn't at all like doing it but she would agree to choose a few favorites from each overage and let go of the rest. Try to reduce by more than half. If you have 40 sweaters, could you get by with maybe 10? Just think what a difference that will make in your drawers! When you organize your new home, keep like with like. Then you will be less willing to buy more stuff because it will be apparent to you that you already have plenty of the whatever.

My mother found it more helpful to press her dear possessions onto people she liked; she was very reluctant to donate anything to an anonymous source. But seriously, unless you have something you KNOW someone will want or be able to use (give a picture to someone who admires it ... give kitchen stuff to a young person setting up a house, etc.), donate your belongings to a worthy charitable organization. I like Vietnam Veterans of America. They pick up in almost every city. VVA will sell these things and they will end up in the hands of someone who actually WANTS them. You get rid of something and get a tax deduction, the charity makes money, and your stuff has a happy new home. Win/win/win.

Now if you simply cannot do this then, yes, you are a hoarder to some degree.
 
Old 07-26-2014, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Ak-Rowdy, OH
1,522 posts, read 2,475,680 times
Reputation: 1121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
A minimalist lifestyle can be problematic, especially in the Midwest.

One quick specific example: it only takes one bad storm to shut down roads in the winter. I try to maintain at least a month's worth of the supplies I need to make a household function, from food to toilet paper, to fuel for the camping stove in case the power goes out. That is reasonable and prudent.

The important part is finding a balance between too much and not enough, and that will vary from family to family.
While I applaud your Boy Scout-ish-ness, I also live in the Midwest, and that is crazy.

I can think of a day, maybe two in a row that I would prefer not to go outside, but a month? That's northern Canada style. I could buy it maybe - maybe - if you lived in the outer reaches of Minnesota or something. Des Moines Metro doesn't strike me as being the hinterlands.

In my multi-decade life of being in the Midwest, I can't think of a time I ever was in such a snow storm that I could not live on what was already sitting in my house. The nice thing about living in the Midwest is that unlike the South where an ice storm shuts down the whole state, everyone is quite prepared for the occasional snow storm, and by prepared I mean there are plows and salt at the ready. It's rarely an issue.

So no, living a minimalist lifestyle in the Midwest is not problematic. You may feel better having a month's worth of toilet paper, but that's a choice, not a necessity.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Venus
4,723 posts, read 3,158,062 times
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It has to do with what people are comfortable with. I'm not talking about those people who can't get walk into their house because the crap is piled so high. Ok, my house looks that way NOW but that is because I am not settled yet. 6 months from now, it will be a different story. Things will be organized and I should be able to find what I want. It is true that no one will want my stuff when I am gone but I want it NOW! Most of the stuff that I save are memories. And what is really funny is I had saved some things from a long time ago. I had just reconnected with some people from that time and I have shared what I have saved. And I have had people tell me that they are happy that I saved it and wish that they have.

To me, organization is the key. I am purging but I'm also organizing. It is a long process but in the long run, I know I will happy. I will have found that balance between saving what I want to keep and get rid of what I don't want/need. What I really resent is when people TELL me that I HAVE to get rid of things. They are my things and it is for me to say what I want to keep and what I don't. I have had someone throw away some things of mine and I was VERY, VERY upset about it. They had no right to do that. And as time goes on, I find that I can get rid of more stuff.



Cat
 
Old 07-27-2014, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,045 posts, read 5,966,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquareBetterThanAll View Post
While I applaud your Boy Scout-ish-ness, I also live in the Midwest, and that is crazy.
Nothing I haven't heard before. (:

I was in Columbus, OH several years ago when we had those ice storms that knocked out power to the metro for nearly a week over Christmas. I was able to stay in my home and take in some of the seniors because I had enough K-1 kerosene to keep the space heaters going. It took AEP a whole week to restore power and some areas north of the metro towards Delaware were out for longer than that.

The storms out in the Heartland are 2X worse, and with the Polar Vortex last winter, I had enough K-1 on hand for 2 weeks and even considered getting a diesel generator. An ice storm when there are -20 chill factors is nothing to mess with.

I have a thick skin! I don't mind people laughing over my emergency supplies and winter pantry. They've saved my behind and made life bearable for others. I do not depend on FEMA or any other gov't agency to bail me out, and I'm here for my neighbors if they need a hand, a hot meal, or a place to get warm.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 06:40 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 7,952,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
Perhaps a little but not like on TV. Especially since you have a negative feeling about all of it.

The feeling of LIBERATION is so worth it so start throwing STUFF OUT as you unpack!

Everything has to have a place without crowding for ME. I wouldn't unpack ANYTHING I wasn't sure about. Then again you may be "sure" you need it all. Hoard-ish LOL.

For ME there is NO USE for papers, tapes, notebooks etc EXCEPT a few that signify life events like my kid's special things that HE may care about. Very few.

BOOKS? My house had a flood and dry wall dried on all my books so I quickly found out the WASTE OF TIME book collections are and never started one up again.

I'm actually the opposite HATE clutter and full closets.

My condo looks like a hotel room, just how I prefer it!

(EXCEPT ONE CLOSET OF CRAP THAT MY SON STILL HAS TO COME GET AND I AM CLOSE TO TOSSING IT ALL OUT!!!!)
I don't know. I had to "liberate" myself from about 80 % of my possessions when I moved a long distance three years ago, including nearly all my furniture, and tons of treasured books, artwork, and clothes. I still miss items that I wish I had brought with me, like my favorite dinnerware (I hardly brought any kitchen stuff or dishes with me.) I gave away all my old vinyl records and a great stereo system, and regret that too. I had to leave behind things I truly loved like an antique mirror collection, simply because they were too heavy to move, and I had absolutely no where to put all that stuff in the quarters I am now living. But I have pangs of regret about the loss of some items, and wish I still had those antique mirrors, artwork, some of the furniture. I guess I'm too attached to things.

I ended up moving 80 boxes, and that was the pared down stuff, one person, collected over 22 years of living in larger places than I'm in now. If I hadn't pared down, it would probably have been 300 boxes! So I don't think 100 is a lot at all lol.

Some people are simply attached to things, and some aren't. I felt absolutely zero sense of liberation or lightness after getting rid of most of my possessions, just a sense of loss. No matter how much I try to ascribe to the sense of less is more, to me less is just less. I liked my stuff, and wish I still had it.

Last edited by ellemint; 07-27-2014 at 07:05 PM..
 
Old 07-28-2014, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
36,972 posts, read 45,404,903 times
Reputation: 61470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
A minimalist lifestyle can be problematic, especially in the Midwest.

One quick specific example: it only takes one bad storm to shut down roads in the winter. I try to maintain at least a month's worth of the supplies I need to make a household function, from food to toilet paper, to fuel for the camping stove in case the power goes out. That is reasonable and prudent.

The important part is finding a balance between too much and not enough, and that will vary from family to family.
You have a point, that someone in a northern climate might need to have a few more supplies in case of power outage, etc..
Now that I've moved south, I have a closet full of winter coats that I should have gotten rid of, but I have procrastinated because there are, like, 4 cold days here in the winter, and I might go visit up north when its cold. So instead of saving one coat for this eventuality, I save a dozen. Its not a good balance, its just dumb.
 
Old 07-28-2014, 07:12 AM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,135,279 times
Reputation: 17199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
A minimalist lifestyle can be problematic, especially in the Midwest.

One quick specific example: it only takes one bad storm to shut down roads in the winter. I try to maintain at least a month's worth of the supplies I need to make a household function, from food to toilet paper, to fuel for the camping stove in case the power goes out. That is reasonable and prudent.

The important part is finding a balance between too much and not enough, and that will vary from family to family.
But you didn't include things like "old writings, notebooks" etc that was the source of the OP's "question".

I live in Florida and my condo was demolished in 04 so it's a common problem. My storage on the porch is full of hurricane supplies and all my "stuff" is packed in Rubbermaid containers inside instead of on open shelves so IF we have another problem, the paper stuff, baby clothes etc are somewhat protected.

I thought the topic was emotional attachment to things versus the amount of space available and addressing "hoarding" [or not hoarding].

That being said, you can't make someone think their stuff is disposable when they LOVE it.
 
Old 07-28-2014, 07:17 AM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,135,279 times
Reputation: 17199
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
I don't know. I had to "liberate" myself from about 80 % of my possessions when I moved a long distance three years ago, including nearly all my furniture, and tons of treasured books, artwork, and clothes. I still miss items that I wish I had brought with me, like my favorite dinnerware (I hardly brought any kitchen stuff or dishes with me.) I gave away all my old vinyl records and a great stereo system, and regret that too. I had to leave behind things I truly loved like an antique mirror collection, simply because they were too heavy to move, and I had absolutely no where to put all that stuff in the quarters I am now living. But I have pangs of regret about the loss of some items, and wish I still had those antique mirrors, artwork, some of the furniture. I guess I'm too attached to things.

I ended up moving 80 boxes, and that was the pared down stuff, one person, collected over 22 years of living in larger places than I'm in now. If I hadn't pared down, it would probably have been 300 boxes! So I don't think 100 is a lot at all lol.

Some people are simply attached to things, and some aren't. I felt absolutely zero sense of liberation or lightness after getting rid of most of my possessions, just a sense of loss. No matter how much I try to ascribe to the sense of less is more, to me less is just less. I liked my stuff, and wish I still had it.

What you're describing is EXACTLY what the counselors on the hoarding shows always say.

If someone is FORCED to get rid of their stuff for reasons other than their own motivation and willingness to "change", it will be a failure. And repeat itself and be a negative memory. In most of THOSE cases, the family is the one forcing and fighting with the individual and the counselor always address THEM and tells them to STOP. They focus on the individual asking them key questions as to what the root cause is. Like keeping stuff from deceased loved ones that was traumatic or record collections of particular significance and why. ETC.

I'm sorry you went through that. I felt very bad when my 2nd floor leak destroyed my book collection but was happy the wet drywall didn't get to the family photo albums.

 
Old 07-28-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: USA
7,778 posts, read 10,098,428 times
Reputation: 11698
My mother was a hoarder and she was around during the great depression; however, she and my dad didn't suffer personally from it because he was a school teacher during that time. When plastic containers came along, she saved them all. Every takeout container was washed and stored for reuse. She went to garage sales and bought junk furniture, sometime broken items... they were cheap. She did grow up poor, but all the accumulation was a huge burden for me to get rid of before I could sell their home.
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